Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners often include a dish such as cranberry relishes, sauces and breads. They are good accompaniments to the holiday meal. Whole cranberries can even be draped over the Christmas tree. Cranberries don’t have to take a second billing to the star of the holiday meal—the turkey. Cranberries are a healthy addition to any meal and can add key nutrients as well as color and sparkle to the meal.
Cranberries contain significant amounts of antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may help protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Cranberries are also rich in vitamin C and fiber, and they are considered a good source of antioxidants. The cranberry is widely known for its use as a remedy for urinary tract infections. However, while scientific studies support the use of cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections, there is no concluding evidence that they effectively treat them.
How can you add cranberries to your meal? Try adding 1/2 cup chopped cranberries to your favorite banana or pineapple bread or oatmeal muffin recipe. Toss a handful into your stuffing. Use dried cranberries to top salads or oatmeal and as a tasty addition to trail mix. Impress your dinner guests by coring an apple and filling the center with whole cranberries sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and then bake in the oven for a warm, fruity dessert.
Fresh cranberries peak in October and November. When choosing fresh cranberries, look for plump, unblemished berries. Refrigerate bagged cranberries for 2 to 3 weeks or freeze for 10 to 12 months. Enjoy cranberries this winter season and all season long!